So, I've passed through this tiny little Pulaski County town between San Pierre and Medaryville often enough that it's quite amazing to me that I haven't stopped to take this picture until my last trip through in February. What would take me down US 421? The Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Refuge to see the Sandhill Cranes of course, but also more recently my car has worn a path between home and Monon and Rensselaer.
Back to this little town. Its name is "Radioville". Now, you may think that's not so strange, but considering most towns were platted long before the invention of the radio, I thought, as I often do-outloud-to my wife, "I wonder how that little place got its name?"
And then I would speculate the remaining 1 1/2 hours home. Outloud.
So a googling I went and this is what I came up with:
The land that the village of Radioville occupies was once part of a large tract of land originally owned by Irene Otto and was known as the Anthony Ranch. Radioville was laid out in 1933 by Margaret and Pearl Lauglin, of Illinois, who secured possession of some of the Otto holdings which boarded the west side of US 421 and extended east 3/4 of a mile with the Monon Railroad cutting through. The land between the highway and the Monon tracks were to be divided into 82 lots. Beyond the tracks the land was to be divided into 272 lots. The community never fully materialized and today consists of a dozen or so houses and trailers strung along the highway. A 1942 road atlas had Radioville still listed as Anthony. Maybe the name Radioville didn't have anything to do with the development in 1933, although the 1930s were the heyday of radio, and came later.
|A swell, 1930s Art Deco-style radio.....much like the ones used in Radioville, I'm sure|
I also found that it may have also once been referred to as "Strawberry".....fields forever. Here's another piece that turned up from googling....and this time, the writer wasn't as complimentary of the rascals who founded it:
The following is from John Ghrist who has written a book about Radioville: Radioville is an interesting place. Back in the 30's, everyone was radio crazed.. There was the Radio Flyer wagon and lots of other things that attached the word "radio" to it to gain more interest. During that time, a "doctor" used radio waves to heal people from their illnesses. He also created Radioville to sell swamp lots to mostly poor people coming to this country. Most of them starved and left the area. Local farmers helped the rest of these people make it through the winter.
|What I like to imagine the folks in Radioville do on Saturday nights|
Today the west side of Radioville (west side of 421) is part of the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife area and tree nursery. No buildings remain. The east side, and I don't mean to sound disparaging against the good folks of this fine city, is composed of a dozen or so small houses, shacks, and mobile homes or the remains of such. One substantial building remains. It has the appearance of a dance hall or bowling alley, which would have been popular during the 1930s. The village is a strange little place and barely warrants a reduced speed zone. Now that I've put that out there, I better be watching my speed the next time through.